Monday, August 1, 2011

From elbow-deep in a uterus to neck-deep in crap!

My family wants me to become an obstetrician. Bringing life into this world, they say, is the most noble thing a doctor can do. Some of my friends want me to do the same, they're shit scared of going to unknown doctors; the remaining ones say they won't let me ever come within a 100 yards of them! Me? I'd love to take up the science, it's an exciting line. There's a deep appreciation one can gain for the process of childbirth when you're elbow deep in someone's uterus, as I found myself to be on several occasions over the past month.

Yesterday was my last day in my OBGY rotation. I think my eyes should be tearing up right now (cue soft dramatic music), because this past month was an unexpected revelation. I still remember wincing when I got to know who I'm going to be working under, tales of their stern attitude had seeped through already. It seems the past interns in this unit had created quite a ruckus & the next batch would pay for their foolhardiness. The first thing that I was told when I started work, "I hope you interns will not cause us grief like the past batch. Work hard! We're gonna make them pay & if you bother us, we won't treat you any different." Gulp! And so we commenced what was expected to be a long month ahead, treading carefully, not wanting to step on anyone's toes. It took around ten days to realize that we're quite adept at what we we're doing, the junior residents were fun, even the seniors shared a few laughs. There wasn't any sense of terror that we'd anticipated. Instead, everyone just let us be. Scratch that, everyone pushed us to do more!

Every now & again, you'd hear someone shout out at you, asking you to wash up for the next surgery. They went out of their way to make sure our surgical skills were honed. It took them a few days to realize one needs basic skills in the first place to hone them! But, they were patient nonetheless. Eyes glued to the organs laid bare, there'd be a running commentary on what needed to be done next, why it was being done, why in that particular way. It made me wish everyone I'd worked for earlier had taken the same amount of enthusiasm. They need to be eager to teach to deserve an eager intern!

The most surprising aspect of this rotation though, was the women! Their beliefs, attitude & noncompliance were legendary! The humor in it all wasn't lost on any of us:

(Patient refusing a vaginal exam inspite of being 9cms dilated)
Patient: No, no, don't do that, it hurts, I want to go home!
Doc: Woman, how can I check if your baby is alright if you won't let me examine you? Don't you know where babies come from?
Patient: No!
Doc: Look, I beg you to please let me examine you, the baby will suffer otherwise
Patient: But, I'm scared
Doc: (whispers into her ears) You know something? So am I !

Patient: Look here doctor, its hurting too much
Doc: Listen, you're going through childbirth, we've already started your drip. This isn't your first delivery, you ought to know it's gonna hurt a bit.
Patient: It never hurt as much as it does right now! What should I do to make you give me a C-section? Should I get a pooja plate & pray to you?!

(Patient in labour since 12 hours, demanding a C-section, also since 12 hours, by far the loudest female we have in that room. Doc approaches to do a vaginal exam)
Patient: Ooooooh, Aaaaaargh! Doc, remove your hands, it's hurting
Doc: Why're you screaming so much? I haven't even touched you yet!
Patient: Oh, alright, I thought you had!
(The vaginal exam is completed, the patient doesn't squirm or scream)
Doc: Wasn't that bad now, was it?
Patient: But, you haven't even done anything yet.
Doc: Yes, I did. I'm done with the exam
Patient: Ooooooh, Aaaaaargh!

P.S: I almost forgot to explain the second part of my title - I start with my Pediatrics rotation tomorrow! 


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  2. This post has scared me of having a baby! Going through labour for 12 hours....and having a doc's hand go up my uterus!!! OMGGGGGG!!!!